If you are unhappy with the appearance of your smile because your front two teeth–called the central incisors–appear too large, you might be tired of being told that you have a cute smile. After all, many people think large front teeth are very attractive, especially because these prominent incisors are often a sign of youth (teeth tend to get worn down with age). But you are the one who has to live with your smile, so if you want to correct teeth that you think are too large, we can help.
Although many dentists may focus on your large teeth as the problem, it’s important to address all tooth aesthetic problems not just as related to individual teeth, but also as part of your whole smile. That’s why many approaches to treating your large front teeth might actually leave those teeth untouched. Here are some of the options we have to improve the appearance of large front teeth.
Reshape Large Teeth
The most direct method, and the one many cosmetic dentists will propose, is just reducing the size of the large teeth. Although this is sometimes the right approach, like many obvious answers, this isn’t always the best approach.
We consider reshaping the teeth that appear large to be a last resort. We prefer to preserve your natural tooth material whenever possible, so if we can find a better approach to get you the results you’re looking for, we will take it.
Reshape Neighboring Teeth
It may also be that your front teeth look large because the neighboring teeth, called lateral incisors, are too small. In extreme cases, this may be related to a peg lateral or retained baby teeth. It may even be the result of correcting missing laterals by moving over canines.
Whatever the cause, if your lateral incisors are too small, we can build them up with porcelain veneers to help them appear more proportionate.
Sometimes your front teeth look large not because of the teeth themselves, but because of your gums. If your gums are not properly contoured, it can change the apparent size of your teeth. It may be that there is too much gum tissue covering the lateral incisors , causing them to look too small.
Or it may be that you have receding gums at the base of your central incisors. Those gums can be restored to their natural, healthy position, which will make your central incisors look more proportionate to your other teeth. We may also investigate potential bite problems that could be the cause of your receding gums as well as gum disease.
Other times, your central incisors might look large because your lateral incisors aren’t properly positioned. Most commonly lateral incisors are located behind the central incisors. This makes them look significantly smaller partly because of the distance but also because they are more shaded. Invisalign is a good orthodontic treatment that can move up your lateral incisors to help balance their appearance with the centrals.
Other times, your lateral incisors may not have emerged fully from your jaw and gums. Orthodontics can be used to elevate them so that they look more proportionate to the central incisors. Invisalign is not as good an orthodontic treatment for this purpose, so more traditional orthodontics might be recommended.
What’s the Right Approach for Your Smile?
When you’re unhappy with the appearance of your smile, it’s not your responsibility to decide what’s the best treatment for you. During your consultation, we will evaluate your teeth and recommend several treatment approaches that can achieve the results you desire. We’ll help you understand the benefits and limitations of each option so you can decide which one is best for you.